‘Take a hike, moron!’ Ben yelled.
Sarah was on her back on the ground. She wasn’t moving. Ben stared, then knelt beside her.
‘Sarah, come on!’ he said. ‘Wake up.’ He rubbed her head, shook her gently.
The moron was now limping towards the horizon. What Ben would give to have finished the job, to have bashed living shit out of him. Sarah had been packing up their tent when Moron had appeared from nowhere, took her unawares. Ben was behind a tree, having a morning wee. He came out to find Moron sitting on boulder, his feet tethering Sarah to the ground, with a twig between his teeth, smirking.
‘Mate, what the hell!’ Ben had shouted.
Moron shifted his gaze slowly, undeterred, to take in Ben. ‘Nothing you need to know about, pal.’ Moron said. His voice was low, gravelly. Sarah was straining to reach a rock.
‘Leave her. Get out of here.’
‘Got to get what I came for, pal,’ Moron had murmured, staring back at Sarah. By now, she’d managed to pick up the rock, and was hiding it under the top of her leg.
‘It’s no use, honey,’ Moron said with an evil chuckle. ‘Let the rock go. It won’t work.’
Ben watched as Sarah pushed the rock aside. It was all a blur after that. Somehow, Sarah picked up the rock again and hurled it at Moron. Ben lunged just as the rock thumped into the back of Moron’s knee, who then fell from the blow. He leapt forward, seizing the opportunity, and pounded the rock onto Moron’s shoulders, only getting up once Moron was still.
He walked over to Sarah, weeping quietly on the ground. He brought his arms around her.
‘Watch out, honey!’ Her scream pierced through the scrub around them, his ears, and brought a chill to his bones. Blackness came down like a curtain.
When he opened his eyes, Sarah was on the ground still. He stood, slowly, awkwardly, to see Moron limping away. He had no idea what Sarah had been through, why she was motionless and unresponsive.
As he patted her cheeks, she stirred. She opened her green eyes and glanced around furtively.
‘He’s gone, babe,’ Ben said. ‘Are you OK?’
‘Just stay there for a bit. Lie still. There’s no rush now.’
‘But he might come back?’ Sarah whispered, the fear obvious. ‘He didn’t get what he wanted.’
Ben creased his brow in confusion.
Sarah made a face. ‘You know.’
‘Oh right,’ Ben said. ‘Well done you. How’d you stop him?’
‘Well, there was some kind of poetic justice involved, honey,’ she said, giggling, her brave nature overtaking any fear she might have felt minutes ago. That was one of the reasons he loved her so much; not a girly-girl. She was tough, courageous, up for anything. He stared, admiring her while she stood gingerly. There was a gash on her leg, blood trickled down her Lorna Janes. ‘I’ll tell you all about it as we finish packing. Let’s get the hell outta here.’